I don't quite know what I expected, but YGA's "factory" was not what I expected. I put factory in quotes because that sounds all automated and industrial, whereas YG's speakers are essentially built by hand. The speakers are constructed of aircraft grade 6061 T651 aluminum and the baffles are milled out of ballistic-grade aluminum/titanium alloy. On the day I arrived, the factory was being prepped for the delivery of a huge CNC station and a ceiling-mounted crane system to move large sheets of stock from station to station. At the moment, large panels are turned into speaker-sized parts by an outside contractor, but Geva prefers to do everything in-house so that he can assure himself that things are done to his specifications.
Geva believes that measurements don't liewell, he allows that they can fib, but that a competent engineer should be able to interpret them with great accuracy. He uses aluminum and ballistic allow instead of wood or MDF, he said, because they are the "most resonant free, deadest, stiffest, strongest, least diffractive, and most sonically desirable materials ever found."
The woofer for the Anat Ref Pro and Studio II is also an exclusive YGA design. "From the voice coil to the surround and cone, the woofer is the ultimate expression of what can be produced for our enclosures and sub-amp technology."
This precision sander puts the lovely exterior finish on the Anat's panels. Yes, the machine does the grunt work, but factory manager Roger Wertz supervises the entire time with his hand on a deadman's switch.
When I visited The Louis Armstrong Archives a few years ago to visit archivist Michael Cogswell, Cogswell escorted me back into the stacks to show me Armstrong's collection of 650 open-reel tapes, almost all of which sported collages assembled by the great trumpeter. More than touching his trumpet, I felt a direct connection to Armstrong viewing (and hearing) his mix tapes—Satchmo was one of us!
Sasha Frere-Jones has a fascinating article in the June 9 The New Yorker about Antares's Auto-Tune software. In case you aren't familiar with it, Auto-Tune is pitch correction software that is used almost universally in contemporary pop recordings—sometimes just to "fix" an off note, increasingly frequently as an effect in its own right.